Bill reintroduced to help military students who miss extracurriculars

The Students to Soldiers Support Act was inspired by a West Branch High School student who had to sit out a basketball game

West Branch High School basketball girls.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Last year, a local lawmaker introduced a bill to protect students who miss extracurricular activities due to military service, but it didn’t pass.

Now Representative John Boccieri is reintroducing the Students to Soldiers Support Act.

It’s inspired by former West Branch High School student Courtney Papic. She had to sit out a basketball game because she missed a previous game for an Air Force Reserve development and flight training course.

Boccieri has made it his mission to protect students like Papic from being punished in their other activities.

“West Branch community and the school district came together. They sat down and spoke with the coach,” Boccieri said. “It was a big misunderstanding, but what came out of it was that we really need to have protections out there for our soldiers who are participating in these extracurricular activities.”

He said there is more support for the bill this time around.

Boccieri said the bill has bipartisan co-sponsorship and they’re working to get all veterans groups on board with it.

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